There has been a rise in the number of people who are obese or overweight the number has more than doubled. It is estimated that by the year 2030, close to 50% of Americans will be diagnosed as being obese. Obesity leads to health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, having excess weight also has a negative effect on the joints.
The joints that are most affected and could easily be damaged permanently are the knees and hips. It is common to hear a person who is overweight complaining that his knees are painful or have swollen after walking. They are also likely to complain of painful hips and ankles.
What impact does obesity have on long-term joint health? Let’s find out.
Impact of obesity on joints
The joints of a person who is overweight are likely to suffer from wear and tear that leads to osteoarthritis over time. The ends of bones are made of a smooth surface and when it becomes worn out as a result of the wear and tear, they become damaged and the individual will feel pain and stiffness. The heavier the person is, the more the joint suffers since the knees are forced to support four times the extra weight the person carries.
When the cartilage that is found in between bones is broken down, osteoarthritis sets in. The joints are no longer protected leading to joint pain. While there are other factors like past injuries, heredity, and excessive wear from sports activities, the impact of obesity cannot be ignored as it increases the risk of one suffering from osteoarthritis.
Depending on how much damage has occurred on the knees, joint replacement surgery can be conducted. This surgery is very risky since there’s an increased chance of blood clots, infections, or dislocations. Since a large number of those needing the surgery are young, there’s a high chance that the replacement will wear out in their lifetime.
Weight loss for the reduction of joint pain
It is recommended that individuals who are overweight work towards losing their weight in order to relieve the pressure on the joints. The correct weight loss program will be very beneficial. One of the ways that they can do this is through exercise under the guidance of an expert as it can be painful and lead to more damage.
Besides exercise, one can choose to undergo bariatric surgery which can be done in Mexico for a fraction of the cost of getting it in the US. After the surgery, the individual needs to follow all the post-surgical instructions of maintaining a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and exercising.